The brain comprises many parts or regions, each affecting different motor skills or other bodily functions. The brain stem, which sits at the bottom of the brain and connects the brain to the spinal cord, regulates many of the body’s automated processes, like breathing. Thus, a brain stem injury can have potentially life-threatening consequences.

How the Brain Stem Becomes Injured

Because of its location, it is difficult to directly injure the brain stem. Instead, the brain stem is likely to suffer harm when other areas of the brain sustain trauma and swell. 

However, in some cases, severe accidents can damage the entirety of the brain, including the brain stem. Examples of accidents and traumatic incidents that can directly or indirectly damage the brain stem include:

  • Brain injuries due to motorcycle accidents, t ruck accidents, and bicycle crashes
  • Acts of violence
  • Sports-related injuries, such as those sustained during football and hockey
  • Construction site accidents, such as being hit on the head by a falling object

Whenever you sustain any trauma to the head, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately. Doing so helps your medical providers quickly assess the location and severity of the damage. A swift assessment and commencement of treatment help increase your chances of a positive prognosis.

What Happens When the Brain Stem Suffers Damage?

Your brain stem controls a number of automatic processes in your body, so trauma to the brain stem can manifest in various ways. These include the following:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Irregular heartbeat or heart functioning
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty walking, troubled posture, or challenges maintaining equilibrium
  • Challenges with normal bodily functioning, such as not being able to swallow food or loss of bladder control

The severity of your injury, accident, and trauma sustained will dictate whether these and other symptoms are temporary or permanent. Where the brain stem is damaged by swelling in other parts of the brain, these and other symptoms may go away as the swelling decreases.

However, if trauma is severe enough, or if the trauma is inflicted directly on the brain stem, the damage may be permanent. You could face permanent disabilities or limitations as a result.

Treatment Options for Brain Stem Injuries

When you are taken to the hospital and evaluated for a suspected brain stem injury, a neurosurgeon will take multiple images of your brain and skull to ascertain the extent of your damage. These images will help your neurosurgeon determine what medical and surgical intervention is warranted to help alleviate the trauma to the brain.

Once the initial emergency has been addressed and you have received any immediate necessary medical care, you will usually need to wait a period of time before continuing with your recovery. 

You must allow yourself to stabilize so that your medical team can fully understand the scope of your injury and any permanent consequences.

You may receive rehabilitative, occupational, and other forms of therapy over the next several months or years. Recovering from a brain injury can be a slow process, so you must be patient and commit yourself to your long-term recovery.

If the accident that caused your brain stem injury came about because another person was careless, such as a drunk driver or distracted truck driver, you may have legal rights. 

You could file a personal injury lawsuit against that careless individual and recover financial compensation to pay for your medical treatment. This compensation could also address any reductions in your income because of the accident.

A Fort Worth personal injury attorney can further advise you on what compensation is available to you and how to pursue a claim.

Contact Our Brain Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth brain injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000